Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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IMMIGRANT VOICES

My Father, Damon Moy

by Diane Lo

A longtime resident in Sacramento,CA, Mr. Damon Moy immigrated to the U.S. in 1940 and was detained on Angel Island for three months.  After a long career in the food service industry, he and his wife Helen retired in Honolulu where their children now reside.


Mr. Damon Moy, aka Gee Hoy immigrated to the United States on Jun 10, 1940 as a “paper son”, on the SS President Taft.  A native of Guangdong, China, Gee Hoy boarded the ship in Hong Kong and sailed to San Francisco, CA, where he was detained at Angel Island for approximately three months.  He lived in the men’s quarters where accommodations were sparse.  During his stay at Angel Island he was interrogated numerous times regarding his identity, family members, and reason for immigrating to the U.S.  When he was granted entry, he became legally known as Damon Gee.

 

Damon married Helen Chan of San Francisco, CA on October 11, 1944.  They moved to Sacramento, CA in July of 1946.  In Sacramento, he was a successful restaurant owner, and Helen worked for the State of California.  During the 1950s Damon and Helen went to Canada so he could legally reenter the United States, at which time he became a naturalized citizen and resumed the use of his birth surname Moy.  Damon and Helen raised three children--Diane Lo, Joyce Moy, and Gary Moy, all of whom now reside in Honolulu, HI.  

Damon retired after serving as a bar manager at both the Sacramento Executive Airport and the Sacramento International Airport. 

Damon and Helen moved to Honolulu, Hawaii with their son Gary and his family.  He and Helen helped with raising Gary's children and cooking for the family.  Damon loved bass fishing and did a fabulous job of cooking up his catch for the family.  He enjoyed going to Reno now and then to play some keno.  He was talented with tools and performed many home repairs on his own.  He loved his fruit trees and tended to them with the greatest of care and pride.  He could alter his shirts, as well as hem up clothes for his wife, and could also patiently wind a ball of yarn to look amazingly like a pineapple.  He enjoyed a good game of cribbage or mah jong with family.  Damon loved orange chiffon cakes and managed to obtain a recipe and prepare it to perfection.  A Chinese sponge cake was a cinch for him to make.  Damon was a wonderful Chinese cook and prepared many, many delicious meals that his family will remember with fondness.

Helen passed away on May 24, 2006, and Damon on September 22, 2008, Damon and Helen left their three children, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren with many loving memories.  They were a wonderful couple who loved life and enjoyed family more than anything else.

Photos provided by Diane Lo (top to bottom): Top - Damon Moy as a young man, Bottom - Helen and Damon Moy.

Place of Origin
Guangdong, China

Place of Settlement
Sacramento, CA

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